San Raffaele: the first brain surgery with a robotiscope


San Raffaele: the first brain surgery with a robotiscope

7 Oct, 2020

In recent days at the San Raffaele Research Hospital, a neurosurgical intervention, removal of a brain tumor, with the use of a robotiscope, a digitally controlled robotic device with three-dimensional visualization, was successfully performed for the first time in the world. The operation was performed by Professor Pietro Mortini, Chief of the Neurosurgery and Stereotactic Radiosurgery Department, together with his team.


The patient, a woman whose benign tumor (meningioma) was diagnosed two months ago, is fine and has already been discharged from the hospital.

First intervention in the world

The surgery was performed on a patient suffering from meningioma, a benign neoplasm. The operation, lasted just over an hour, was carried out with a unique technique in the world panorama, based on the use of a robotiscope, a microscope-robot controlled remotely thanks to the movements of the surgeon's head.


The technology, which has just arrived in Italy at the San Raffaele Research Hospital, is composed of two main tools:

  • a high-precision robotic arm, at the end of which cameras are mounted and transmit three-dimensional video images in real time;
  • a helmet (Head-Mounted Display, HMD), worn by the surgeon with 2 built-in micro-screens for viewing the operating field and remote management of the robotic system.

The surgeon can guide the robotic arm with small and simple movements of the head, thanks to sensors and accelerometers located in the helmet.


Advantages of the technology

In recent years, neurosurgery has made huge steps forward in the treatment of brain tumors. To date, the use of optical magnification instruments such as the microscope is considered fundamental. Professor Mortini explains:

“The robotiscope has multiple advantages in magnification of the operating field. In particular, surgeon can act continuously (without interrupting for the adjustments of enlargements or focus) thanks to the special technology that allows you to change all the settings of the device with simple head movements that are transformed into movement of the robotic arm and of the high-resolution three-dimensional cameras.
We started by operating a meningioma, but this new technology will be applied in the whole field of neurosurgery with a significant reduction in time of the operation, greater precision, all for the benefit of patients”.

Are you passionate about neurosurgery and would like to deepen your studies in this area? Visit the page of our post-graduate school in Neurosurgery

Visit our page

Written by

UniSR Communication Team
UniSR Communication Team

Thanks to the contribution of the various team members, the UniSR Marketing and Communications Service deals with the multiple communication areas of the University: news scouting, creation of news, audio and video, event organization, website management and institutional social media, drafting and publication of newsletters, support for institutional relations. The Service interacts with all the main stakeholders (students, teachers, technical and administrative staff, research community, territory) in order to support and potential communication (internal and external) of the initiatives related to teaching, research and public engagement.

Visit the author's page

Sign up to our newsletter

Please fill in the form to be updated on our latest news and events